New temples to be built
[TamilNet, Monday, 09 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The government laid the foundation for a twin Hindu and Buddhist temple complex in the Muthurajawela marshlands about 15 kilkometers northwest of Colombo this morning to seek divine support to bring peace in Sri Lanka.
The foundation stones for the twin temples were laid by the Deputy Minister for Defence General Anurudha Ratwatte and Minister for Health Mr. Nimal Siripala De Silva.
The stones were inscribed in Sinhala, Tamil and English.
The funds for the construction will initially come from the government and then will be contributed by leading business houses in the country said a spokesman for the project today.
The Hindu temple is dedicated to Vishnu- protector god of the Hindu pantheon. Vishnu has a place in the Buddhist pantheon as well and according to the belief of some buddhists, the god had been tasked by Lord Buddha to guard the island.
The function was attended by leading Hindu and Buddhist priests.
Some Hindu activists who are associated with the project said that the Muthurajawela Vishnu temple might help neutralise the adverse impact of the Srirangam temple in south India on the fortunes of Sri Lanka.
It is held among some devout Hindus, and some Buddhists who tend to share many rituals and beleifs with them, that Sri Lanka fell into bad times since a Gopuram (upper structure) facing Sri Lanka directly was built more than a decade ago.
However, there are many Tamil Hindus as well as several Buddhists who scoff at and dismiss this as foolish superstition.